How To Help A Child With Anxiety
Being a parent is tough isn’t it? Your kids can break your heart constantly as you watch them grow into adults. Small pains such as seeing them unhappy when they don’t do well on an exam, or when they have their heart broken, is tough but it can even be bigger issues like self-confidence problems or ongoing anxiety and depression which are most concerning to parents.
Australian children are really doing it tough at the moment and a new study recently showed just how tough it can be for Australian kids. Mental health issues in our young people are spinning out of control and they don’t show any signs of slowing down. An alarming fact was that one in thirteen children aged between 12 and 17 have genuinely considered suicide.
Tips To Help A Child With Anxiety
1. Recognise The Symptoms
Being able to recognise the symptoms of anxiety or depression in your child is crucial and while anxiety can be a natural part of anyone’s life it’s important to identify when constant worry or unhappiness exists.
Such symptoms might be.
- An irrational and ongoing sense of worry or impending doom
- The inability to relax, uneasiness and irritability
- Difficulty sleeping
- Unable to concentrate or focus for extended periods
- Sudden and unprovoked feelings of panic
- Physical sensation such as breathlessness, dizziness, palpitations and sweating
2. Have Open Conversations
If you’re worried about your child and have been avoiding starting a conversation with them about your concerns, simply letting them know you care can make a big difference. It can sometimes help to share with your child some things you were scared of when you were the same age and ask if they have similar worries.
By highlighting some of your own anxieties you can encourage open conversations without directly asking kids to talk about their emotions which can be a challenge at times. However if that fails then asking directly what worries your child the most might be your best solution.
Some things you must try to avoid doing:
- Try to tell them to “just relax”, “calm down” or “get over it”
- Becoming distant and not visiting or calling
- Encourage bad negative solutions such as dealing with anxiety through drugs or alcohol
- Try to fix everything yourself or become their self assigned counselor
- Invite them into situations and events that make them anxious
- Do nothing and assume the problem will go away
3. Teach them to manage Anxiety
Parents never want to see their child unhappy but in a fast paced world the ability to eliminate Anxiety from adult lives is impossible so we must learn to manage it. As parents we need to teach our children the skills to identify Anxiety when it’s present and provide them with the tools to manage it effectively throughout their life.
We’ve put together a range of tips on how you can manage Anxiety which can be useful for parents too.
A quick an easy method is to try this Breathing Exercise:
- When you feel tension and anxiety building simply stop, close your eyes and take a deep breath in to the count of 4
- Hold it for 4 seconds
- Then slowly breath out to the count of 4
- Repeat this as many times as necessary always kindly and gently bringing your focus back to the breath
4. Tell your child that failure is OK
Every parent wants their child to succeed and more often than not we try to make them perform in areas that we (parents) often struggled with as children. Parents don’t want children to go through the same hard lessons they had to learn which means we can often pressure kids to succeed in sports, school and performance situations.
It’s important to remember that kids just want to be kids and we need to support them to enjoy this important part of their lives. Parents should encourage your children to work hard, have strong ethics and morals and strive to be their best but more importantly we need to teach our kids to follow a pathway that allows them to love their life and love themselves.
As children become adults, we begin to realise that there are only a handful of things in life that we can strive to be the best at and we begin to accept that is always someone that can do something better. We also begin to appreciate that failure is the fastest pathway to learning someone new.
5. Empower Children To Be Confident
Anxiety isn’t always bad either and it can be a natural sign that your child wants to perform at their best. Anxiety can also be a sign that your child feels that their skills are lacking in a certain area and as a parent that’s an opportunity to identify the issue and work with them through additional tutoring or practice so they can overcome these concerns.
For example public speaking can be a major problem for kids and parents might want to look at how you can practice speaking at home or providing them with additional tutoring to guide them towards becoming confident public speakers.
You can’t promise your child that her fears don’t exist – that she won’t fail a test or that another child won’t laugh at her during her presentation. What you can do is help them to overcome these fears by helping them practice what they fear most while providing the tools to manage these situations should they arise.
What Do The Experts Say?
Terri Bowman, founder of the Brain Wellness Spa, highlights that to help children break free from anxiety, you need to build their self esteem by doing activities with them that empower them to feel confident and more adequate. It’s important that parents have open conversations and identify what is making them feel unsafe so they can help to feel more secure, whether it’s at school, socially or at home.
Doing activities that engage in mindfulness will also help them to feel more in control because anxiety is exacerbated by feeling insecure. Providing them with techniques to remain in control in certain situations in certain situations is key. What we also have to keep in mind is that children have new experiences almost every day.
Learning, activities and friendship groups can all provide different experiences from day to day which can cause an increase in anxiety. These situations force a child to deal with unwanted change or to go outside their comfort zone.
Get Help With Anxiety
The Brain Wellness Spa has implemented an all-natural and drug-free solution to solving mental illnesses, including anxiety for children and teenagers. If you have concerns about your child or teenager, or anyone else you know, including yourself, please consider speaking with one of the team at the Brain Wellness Spa.
Our 8-step program has a 98%* success rate in solving anxiety for our customers. We provide you with a natural solution to solving ongoing and constant anxiety in your kids.